The XenServer Engineering team has just released a new guide that provides advanced design and best practice information about networking: CTX129320 – Designing XenServer Network Configurations.

We wrote this directly in response to your requests for more information about XenServer networking. We are listening.

This guide builds on the information in CTX127885 – Introduction to XenServer Networking and adds advanced information about, amongst other topics:

  • Bonding
  • Storage networks
  • Jumbo frames 
  • The Distributed Virtual Switch (“vSwitch”)
  • How to define networking requirements and select networking hardware
    This “advanced” information doesn’t begin until the later chapters in the guide – so if that is what you want to know, check the Table of Contents so you can jump right there. The storage networks information does not include iSCSI multipathing -- this ended up being a separate mini-manual (CTX129309 –Configuring iSCSI Multipathing Support for XenServer).

The goal of Designing XenServer Network Configurations isn’t to tell you everything you need to know about networking but rather focus on the best practices. The idea is that good design prevents issues later on.

While writing the guide, I spent a lot of time reading Citrix forum posts, so hopefully the guide addresses common questions that you’ve had. We know that know people find XenServer networking challenging, so please send feedback if there are topics you’d like added to the guide. We want this document to be something that can help you. You can provide feedback either over my Twitter account or by emailing me directly (sarah dot vallieres at citrix dot com).

The guide was written with a lot of input from XenServer experts around the company, including not only XenServer engineering but also sales engineers, product readiness, and many others with field experience. Many thanks to all who helped – especially Oved, Rob, Mikael, Richard, Lee, Steve B, and others.
As usual, I’ve added this guide to the XenServer Deployment Articles and Multimedia Kit. To get updates on the design-related materials we release, you can follow this kit. If I don’t get a chance to blog about the release right away, you may find out faster this way or by following me on Twitter.

(As a side note, the information in the Introduction to XenServer Networking is duplicated in the Designing XenServer Network Configurations as the introduction. We may discontinue the intro guide at some point, but first we are trying to determine if people want this information divided up.)

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Sarah Vallieres – Senior Technical Writer – XenServer
Twitter: @xsresearcher
XenServer Deployment Articles and Multimedia Kit